The first days and weeks of braces can be painful and frustrating. The inside
of your mouth can get all torn up, your lips may get cut, and your teeth hurt. I know how miserable
this feels because I had braces for three years as an adult. Take heart; it will
pass! On day soon you'll realize that you've totally forgotten that you're
wearing braces because they won't hurt anymore. Really! When your mouth sores
heal, scar tissue will form on the inside of your mouth which helps prevent new
sores in the exact same location.
I remember when I first got my braces. I had ceramic uppers put on first. Then
about 10 days later I had metal braces put on my bottom teeth. Eating was a
challenge. I had to chew very slowly and take small bites. Of course at first I
could only manage soft food, but after about a month I was able to eat a fairly
normal diet, avoiding really hard foods (like nuts or hard crusty bread).
Tortilla chips felt like little daggers it was six months before I could eat
When does the pain from braces stop? Truthfully, it doesn't totally stop until your braces come off. The first weeks are the most painful and things tend to settle down a bit after that. But throughout your treatment, you will find that as your teeth shift, you will get new pains and mouth sores. That's why it's a good idea to have an "arsenal" of products and remedies to turn to for the duration of your treatment. That way, you won't have to suffer while you hunt around for something to make you feel better -- you'll already have it at home!
If you have a wire poking into the very back of your cheek, it will be almost
impossible to cover it. If a poking wire is tearing up the back of your cheek,
call your orthodontist and go in to go get it clipped. Sometimes you don't even need to make an appointment many orthodontists can just do a fast clipping for you on the fly. Please don't suffer with this, because a badly torn up cheek could get infected!
Inexpensive Home Remedies For Braces Pain
During those first challenging weeks, there are many things you can do to keep
Warm Salt Water Rinse
- This is fairly easy to make: just mix about a
teaspoon of table salt into a glass of warm tap water and stir until all the
salt is dissolved. Rinse your mouth several times per day with this warm
solution. The salt water solution soothes your mouth sores and helps them heal.
- You don't need to take heavy pain killers when you have
braces. A couple of Advil every 6 hours or a couple of Tylenol every 4 hours can
do the trick, as long as your doctor says it's OK. Always read the label and
follow the instructions on Advil or Tylenol (or any pain reliever) to ensure you
don't take too much. When in doubt, ask your doctor. Always take them with food,
and don't take Advil (or any NSAID) together at the same time with Tylenol
that could cause stomach bleeding!
Treat yourself to some frozen yogurt, ice cream, or a cold
drink such as ice water. The cold helps dull the pain. You could even apply cold
packs to your mouth, although it is rarely necessary to go to such a drastic
I'm not telling you to drink, especially if you are under the
legal limit. But if you are legal drinking age, a glass of wine could help ease
the pain a little bit. Just don't over-do it! And remember, red wine will stain
clear elastics, so stick to the white variety! Obviously be careful of mixing
alcohol with any pain killers.
Products That Take Away the Pain of Braces
orthodontist or dentist may have given you a bite wafer. If you bite down on it
for a few minutes several times per hour, it could help relieve your pain. The
motion of biting helps circulate blood to your gums which can ease some pain.
Don't bit too hard just a little pressure is enough. If your dentist didn't
give you a bite wafer, you can buy one from us. We sell them in several
different flavors. Click to order Bite Wafers.
PulsatePro - Think of
this as a Bite Wafer on steroids! The PulsatePro delivers low frequency
vibrations to your mouth and brackets, which helps to increase circulation to
your gums and mouth. The increased circulation helps create blood flow which
helps to relieve the pain from your braces. Use it just 20 minutes a day to help
keep your braces comfortable. PulsatePro is hundreds of dollars less than
Acceledent, and can be used indefinitely (it does not expire and stop working
like Acceledent). Replacement mouthpieces are available, so several members of a
household can use it if needed!
Click to order PulsatePro.
OraChill - This is a
really cool product, which is the result of a lot of scientific research. If the
pressure of braces makes your teeth hurt, OraChill can provide a non-drug way to
relieve the pain. You freeze this product and then apply it under your gums. It
blocks the pain that comes from the nerves inside your mouth and jaw. The result is,
the nerves in your mouth and jaw temporarily stop transmitting pain impulses to
the brain! It really works! Click
to order OraChill.
Rinconol PRN I love
this stuff. It tastes weird but it works great! Swish it in your mouth for one
minute and then spit it out. It creates a protective barrier on your mouth sores
which lasts for many hours. This is a great product to use if you have a lot of
mouth sores because they are all treated at once. You can sometimes find bottles
of Rincinol PRN in your local drugstore. We sell handy individual-use packets of
this product. Click to order
Canker-X This is
a gel which forms a protective barrier on your mouth sores, and helps soothe them with Aloe Vera. You apply it
directly to the individual sores. It does not sting or burn when you apply it, and it does not have a bad taste. The barrier that Canker-X forms gives you many hours of blessed pain relief. You can sometimes find little tubes of
Canker-X in drugstores. We sell handy individual packets of this product, which are more hygienic than the tubes.
Click to order Canker-X.
Products That Create a Barrier
Dental Wax and Dental
- The simplest way to stop your mouth from getting torn up is
to create a barrier between your brackets and the inside of your mouth. There
are several ways to do this. The most common is to use dental wax. Your dentist
probably gave you some dental wax. Just break off a little bit with your
fingers, hold it for a few moments to warm it up, then apply it right on the
brackets that are causing the mouth sores. Use as much as you need. Remember to
take it off before you brush your teeth or it will totally gunk up your
toothbrush! You can find dental wax in most local drug stores, but here at
DentaKit.com, we sell it in 10-packs and bulk boxes of 50 packets. We also sell
dental silicone (Ortho-Sil and BraceGard) which lasts longer but can be a little
harder to apply (the brackets need to be perfectly dry for silicone to stick). In addition, there are new OrthoDots, which is orthodontic silicone with a special moisture-activated backing. Your brackets don't need to be dry for OrthoDots to stick, and they stay on your brackets for 6 to 8 hours.
Click to order Dental Wax
, or OrthoDots.
This is an ingenious product. It looks like a WhiteStip but is thicker and
contains no whitening chemicals. It adheres gently to your teeth and brackets,
forming a protective barrier between your braces and the inside of your mouth.
You can wear it for an entire day and even eat and drink with it on. Our
customers tell me that they love this new product.
Click to order ComfortBrace
Comfort Covers and Lip
These products are made from flexible soft plastic. They
cover your brackets, which helps soothe existing mouth sores and prevent new
ones. We sell three different types of these sort of lip protection products.
They come in sets of two (one for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth).
You can cut them with scissors for a custom fit. Some people like to buy one set
of each to see which product works best for them. If you play a wind instrument,
we also sell the BraceGuard Kit, which enables you to make a custom guard.
Because BraceGuard is pink it may not be right for non-musicians however, it
would work well if you have lingual braces (behind the teeth). Click to order
Jacket Bracket Jacket is a custom braces guard that you form at home
with hot water (thermoformed). It covers both the front and back of your teeth
and prevents discomfort caused by sharp brackets and wires. Great for lingual
braces (on the back of the teeth)! This clear guard allows teeth to move, and
leaves space to wear rubber bands. Complete instructions are included with the
product. Click to order
Tooth pressure pain and mouth sores are no fun, but they will pass. As your
treatment progresses, you will only occasionally feel pain or get sores from
your braces. Armed with a little knowledge and a few good products, it will only
be a bump in the road to your new smile.
About The Author
Lynn S. is the founder and owner of DentaKit.com. Shortly after getting braces in 2001 at age 41, Lynn realized that there was no convenient way for her to find the orthodontic products she needed locally. She created DentaKit.com to give orthodontic patients easy access to products that would help keep their braces and retainers clean and comfortable. Along the way, she also created ArchWired.com and its Metal Mouth Message Board to provide vital information and an online community for adults who have orthodontic braces.
Lynn has a degree in Communications and Journalism, with a focus on scientific writing and research. Before founding DentaKit.com, she was a technical writer and technical trainer for various high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. Since starting DentaKit.com 15+ years ago, she has attended many meetings of various dental associations, and has read and researched extensively on a variety of orthodontic and dental subjects. The articles she writes are always vetted by one or more orthodontists or dentists before they are published.